Dark Angel

Season 1 Episode 18

Pollo Loco

Aired Unknown Apr 24, 2001 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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out of 10
173 votes
  • X5 psycho!

    Can Max fight her animal instincts? Is she just a killer on standby? I'm sure if that poor chicken had any say in the matter, it'd be a resounding yes to that second question.

    This is definitely one of the strongest episodes of the season, quite possibly the entire series. Heavily rooted in the show's mythology, we're taken back to Manticore and shown just how brutal a place it really was. Alec, played by genre hottie, Jensen Ackles, is brought in to highlight the road not taken – he's the kind of soldier Max would have been, albeit a few cents short of a euro.

    Things are becoming quite complicated for everyone, even Lydecker. His bosses aren't happy about his recent string of screw-ups (and rightly so) which leads me to believe he'll have to push up his endgame sooner than expected. This can't mean sunshine and lollipops for our heroes.

    Logan's suspicions of Max grow throughout the hour, capping off with some hefty doubts about Max's ability to keep her 'predator' at bay. The whole nature vs nurture element comes into play, and Max proves she's got this b!tch down, but Logan may still need some convincing. Does he have a failsafe plan if there ever was a day Max lost control?

    I know I've asked this a lot, but what happened to Jessica Alba? Max goes through some serious motions here, and Jessica really knocks out of the park. Likewise, Jensen really plays out of his realm – the psycho – and hits every beat. In fact, he does such a good job here they bring him back to play a completely different character next season…

    All in all, this is a standout episode from Dark Angel. I'm feeling generous, so I'm awarding the show its first 10 rating. Hopefully it won't be its last!
  • Max meets up with one of her brothers who escaped with her. He hasn\'t adjusted well to the outside world and has become a crazed serial killer. Max has to fight him in order to save a would-be victim from him.

    This is the episode that haunted me, even after the show went off the air. Max, who has spent 10 years searching for her lost brothers and sisters, has to fight one of them because he went crazy and evil.

    I loved this episode long before I knew who Jensen Ackles was. He does such a great job as Ben. And, for those who have the biggest crush on Alec in season 2, it is hard to believe the same actor played both characters. And, this episode also sets up several episodes from season 2, including \"Hello Goodbye,\" \"Dawg Day Afternoon,\" and \"Designate This.\" This episode is pivotal to understanding both Alec, although the character is different, and Max, who has memories of killing her brother.
  • one of the X5's are killing people

    i really liked this episode a lot. i liked hearing about max's past and seeing a new X5. they were kinda scary when they were kids, but i think max is not that way any more i just hope that scense logan fond out he wont be scared of max, it will suck if he is. it had a lot of good action in this episode and the part where max killed ben was sad just cuz she didnt want to but it was the right thing. i liked the preist in this too he was really cool and i'm glad they said some thing about religon just so we know about how it is in that future. really good episode!
  • A serial killer has been leaving a distinct signature across America, and now Seattle--a barcode tattoo reading 493. Max's sweet, story-telling brother Ben has become a serial killer and it is now up to Max to try and put an end to it all.

    This was my first episode of Dark Angel, and it brought to the table what got me, and many others I'm sure, absolutely hooked on the second season: Jensen Ackles I was never particularly interested in watching Dark Angel until I saw this episode. I only happened upon it one night on a whim. It was better than I ever expected a show like Dark Angel to be: it was dark, moody, threatening, and absolutely riveting. The story of this supersoldier getting lost in the real world--unable to control his inborn taste for blood and killing without the guidance of his unit or the discipline of an institution in the real world--was brilliant. (And to think, Doris Egan's original script was apparently darker, and got revised--what I would give to read that transcript!)

    In all honesty, and this is coming from a reviewer who loves Dark Angel to this day and watched it when it originally aired while still in elementary school--outside of a few episodic exceptions--Dark Angel was pretty cheesey, contrived, and was weak all around from the acting abilities of JAlba to the script dialogue--everything is just really, really weak. The only thing that saved the show for me was Jensen Ackles--first as Ben in season 1, then as Alec, the saving grace of season 2.

    Pollo Loco, however, was a fantastic departure from the norm of the show. The plot of the episode was actually interesting, the mythology of Manticore and Max's childhood and lost siblings were examined further as well. Also, Jensen Ackles' portrayal of the tortured, vulnerable, but ultimately damaged and dangerous Ben was the clincher. You just believed how damaged he was, but at the same time you knew if you got too close he would snap your neck. The tone was defined, the danger was palpable, and the emotional journey was turbluent to say the least. Pollo Loco is not a good representation of what the Dark Angel series really was--it was better than that. I can only imagine what the show could've been like if every episode had been conceived with the same thought, imagination and exploration. I honestly think if the writers had listened to the network when they said, "MORE LIKE THIS!" after seeing this episode, instead of going with a virus-love plot and a Nazi-esque cult bend on human annihilation, that Dark Angel would have lasted just a little bit longer.